Immediately, we find a number of "new" items on this year's racing calendar.
1. There are more concerts than stakes races. Okay, I'm exaggerating. There are 12 stakes races and 9 concerts. That would probably explain why Lone Star Park updated their Facebook banner and are promoting the lingo, "Racing that Rocks You." Although Lone Star Park is actually a very nice venue to hold concerts, it has a tendency to fill up rather rapidly with a very young crowd (read: not old enough to bet) because it's cheap if you arrive before the 7th or 8th race. Which leads us to another change,
2. Lone Star Park's New Concert Age Policy. Entry to concerts requires one to be 18 or older with a valid ID unless accompanied by a 30-year-old or older appropriately notarized legal guardian. Limit 3 juvies per notarized legal guardian. Notarized legal guardian is strongly encouraged to wager and contribute to on-track handle. The junior and senior classes of Trinity High School are to make other plans next Friday night and/or secure a number of notarized legal guardians to see the Casey Donahew Band.
3. Dollar Day Disappears. Lone Star Park has eliminated its most popular promotions, Dollar Day. A day when entry into the racetrack was very affordable ($1), racing programs were affordable ($1), hot dogs were affordable ($1), and beer was even more affordable ($1). People love it! A day when you could bring your entire family or the junior and senior classes of Trinity High School, feed them, have fun, and still have enough money to put gas in your car on Monday morning. Last year, the event attracted well over 16,000 people. Wouldn't most entertainment establishments consider that a "raging success"? Well, after perusing through Facebook comments, it appears that Lone Star's decision to discard the beloved Dollar Day is proving to be unpopular. Their response,
There aren't any Dollar Days this year.. however, we have several other great promotions running along with drink specails [sic] including Party at the Park on Friday nights with $2 beer!
Good-bye family friendly environment. Hello, betting and drinking public. Leave the kids at home but be sure to bring your dictionaries!
4. Lone Star
Excuse me while I take a big slurp of my margarita ... I'm beginning to feel a little disheartened during our Preview Party ...
5. Triple Crown Good News! Simulcasting is still available for the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes!
Of course, there are other intriguing promotions that are noteworthy. The wildly popular Jockeys & Java makes its return May 27. There's Sunday Jazz Brunch at the Silks and Party in the Park every Friday night - although it's noteworthy that last year's beer specials were $1 but this year it's $2.
Regardless, tomorrow night we're off! The Premiere Stakes opening night, concerts Friday and Saturday night - be sure to bring your appropriate notarized legal guardian. And on Sunday it's Family Fun Day featuring Camel and Ostrich Races! And I don't care what "horse racing purists" say, they're fun! Besides, as this Preview Party clearly demonstrates, it's not about the racing ...
Time to get me a "new" margarita.